1950s “U.S. Planes & Warships” (D85)
Purity Pretzel Company, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Series Title: U.S. Planes & Warships
American Card Catalog No.: D85
Manufactured by: Purity Pretzel Company, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Packaged With: Purity Pretzel Stix
Number of Cards: 56K (unnumbered)
Card Dimensions: 2.4 × 1.85 inches (nominal)
Circa: early 1950’s
Checklist: download


The Purity Pretzel Company’s “U.S. Planes and Warships Series” of collector cards is part of the Bakery Cards food issues. These series of cards were issued with bread and other various bakery products. Very few were issued on a national basis, most of the issuers being local concerns, which makes these cards especially difficult to collect. As a group, they’re becoming more and more popular with collectors.

Burdick’s 1960 The Standard Guide on All Collected Cards in Their Values (a.k.a. The American Card Catalog) notes that there are 105 cards in the Purity Pretzel “U.S. Planes and Warships Series” card set. We’re not quite sure where Burdick came up with the 105 total since the cards themselves have no references to the total number of cards in the set. Nearly half a century later, only 56 titles have been found. In reality, The Purity Pretzel Company may have had grand plans for the series, but it appears that they were never realized.

When compared to Gum cards, the overall quality of these cards are disappointing. It appears that the cards may have been printed by a local printer in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area. The dimensions of the cards are not consistent. We have therefore quoted nominal measured dimensions of 2.4 × 1.85 inches. Other printing anomalies included poorly placed top and bottom title blocks. In fact most of the title blocks were not parallel to the image area of the card, and in some cases the top and bottom title blocks were not parallel to each other. On one card, the bottom title block actually flowed out of the image area of the card. The trimming of the cards was also very disappointing. In many cases the trimmed edges of the cards are not parallel with the card’s image area. There were also numerous misspellings on the cards, particularly on the airplane cards.

Be that as it may, the photos in this series include some interesting shots that we have not seen on other aviation cards. The series is comprised of three subsets: (1) U.S. Air Force Series, (2) U.S. Navy Planes Series, and (3) U.S. Navy Ships Series. One card from each of the subsets is shown below. All of the Official Photos were black and white. The generic reverse side of the card featured the Purity Stix baker boy and some advertising text. The American Card Catalog number for the set is D85.





“U.S. Planes and Warships” (D85)
Purity Pretzel Company
Original Scans
USAF B-29 B-50 C-97 B-36 XC-99 C-119 FM-2 TF-80G F-80B B-45
F-82 XP-86 YB-49 X-4 XF-89 F-84 B-47 X-1 XB-35  
USN XF6U-1 XF7U-1 XF3D-1 D-558-2 XFJ-1 FH-1 AM-1 F2H-1 PB-1W XAJ-1
XF6U-1 FR-1 F9F F4U XF4U-1  
Ships Albany Altamaha California Chester Chicago Columbus Coral Sea Dayton Des Moines Helena
Honolulu Memphis Michigan Mobile Nevada Oakland Portsmouth Ranger Saratoga St. Paul
Wichita Wisconsin   Generic Back


“U.S. Planes and Warships” (D85)
Purity Pretzel Company

xAirplane Name
Boeing B-29 "Superfortress"
Boeing B-50
Boeing C-97 Leviathan
Consolidated Vultee B-36
Consolidated Vultee XC-99
Fairchild C-119
FM-2 Wildcat
Lockheed TF-80G
New Lockheed F-80B
North American B-45
North American F-82
North American XP-86
Northrup (sic) Flying Wing YB-49
Northrup (sic) X-4
Northrop (sic) XF-89
Republic F-84 Thunderjet
Stratojet Bomber Boeing B-47
The Bell X-1
XB-35 Flying Wing
xAirplane Name
Chance-Vought XF6U-1
Chance Vought XF7U-1
Jet and Rocket Plane
Jet Fighter XFJ-1
Jet Powered Carrier Plane FH-1
Martin AM-1 Mauler
McDonnell (sic) Banshee
Navy Flying Fortress PB-1W
North American XAJ-1
Pirate Jet Fighter XF6U-1 (sic)
Ryan Fire Ball FR-1
The Panther Jet Fighter
Vought Fighter Corsair
Vought Fighter Plane XF4U-1
xShip Name
U.S.S. Albany
U.S.S. Altamaha
U.S.S. California
U.S.S. Chester
U.S.S. Chicago
U.S.S. Columbus
U.S.S. Coral Sea
U.S.S. Dayton
U.S.S. Des Moines
U.S.S. Helena
U.S.S. Honolulu
U.S.S. Memphis
U.S.S. Michigan
U.S.S. Mobile
U.S.S. Nevada
U.S.S. Oakland
U.S.S. Portsmouth
U.S.S. Ranger
U.S.S. Saratoga
U.S.S. St. Paul
U.S.S. Wichita
U.S.S. Wisconsin


  1. John A. Shupek: Card scans from the Skytamer Archive Digital Image Database.

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